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Gambling in france in all times , chapter 5, page 1

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Volume I Volume II

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz

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Casino Gambling in history

CHAPTER V. page 17

LOUIS XIV.--The reign of Louis XIV. was a great development in
every point of view, gaming included.

The revolutions effected in the government and in public
morals by Cardinal Richelieu, who played a game still more
serious than those we are considering, had very considerably
checked the latter; but these resumed their vigour, with
interest, under another Cardinal, profoundly imbued with the
Italian spirit--the celebrated Mazarin. This minister,
independently of his particular taste that way, knew how to ally
gaming with his political designs. By means of gaming he
contrived to protract the minority of the king under whom he
governed the nation.

`Mazarin,' says St Pierre, `introduced gaming at the court of
Louis XIV. in the year 1648. He induced the king and the queen
regent to play; and preference was given to games of chance. The
year 1648 was the era of card-playing at court. Cardinal Mazarin
played deep and with finesse, and easily drew in the king and
queen to countenance this new entertainment, so that every one
who had any expectation at court learned to play at cards. Soon
after the humour changed, and games of chance came into vogue--to
the ruin of many considerable families: this was likewise very
destructive to health, for besides the various violent
passions it excited, whole nights were spent at this execrable
amusement. The worst of all was that card-playing, which the
court had taken from the army, soon spread from the court into
the city, and from the city pervaded the country towns.

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